Pregnancy is an important and crucial time period for not only humans but also for animals such as cats. Unlike humans, the cat has a short gestation period of about 2 months and a few days more that contains several short phases. The process of this cat pregnancy is often called queening and the cat is called a queen. If you have a cat, the following things must be known to you to avoid any complications.
Being in Season
If your cat wants to mate with a male cat she will exhibit some signs such as rubbing and rolling on the ground, raising and lowering her pitch, creating certain sounds etc. You may feel it weird and you may also think your cat is probably ill if you have not dealt with a pet cat before. This period of cat desire is called ” season or period of heat”. The heat or oestrus period comes after every 3 weeks in the case of a cat.
If you want your unneutered cat to not get pregnant, you must keep an eye on her and keep her stay away from male cats especially if you do not want to bear the expenses of the kitten too at a certain time.
The age for a cat to be in heat and get pregnant is as early as 4 months only. The male cat will chase the specific sounds, smell and signals exhibited by your for mating.
Signs of Cat Pregnancy
There are some signs that can tell you if your cat is pregnant:
Size of belly
The size of the belly of a cat pregnant becomes enlarged gradually. The sign appears late because it can be noticed after 30 days of cat pregnancy. Increasing the abdominal size of your cat not always mean that your cat is pregnant. It can be due to an infection or underlying disease so you must consult your vet about it.
It is a natural phenomenon for a pregnant cat that her nipples become enlarged and swell during pregnancy. They also change their colour to red, the process is called pinking up of nipples. It is an obvious sign and can be seen just after 15-18 days of your cat being pregnant.
Weight gain in pregnancy for any organism whether a human or cat is obvious and a natural process. A cat gains about 1-2 kg of weight in her gestation period. You can take it as a sign of your cat pregnancy.
Confirmation Tests for Cat Pregnancy
Although you can check yourself if your cat is pregnant by noticing some signs discussed above but it is better to confirm before having a thought. Here are some ways to confirm your cat pregnancy:
You can get assured about the pregnancy of your cat by ultrasound. It will confirm and the doubt will go away but the ultrasound will show valid results after 15 days of cat pregnancy.
X-rays can also be used to confirm the pregnancy of the cat. It is the best way for confirmation because it also tells you about the number of kittens you and your cat are going to have. The number of kittens may not be 100% exactly the same as shown by x-rays but you can get a rough idea about it.
Palpating the belly of your cat gently also tells you about the pregnancy of the cat but it should only be done by the vet and not by yourself because you being inexperienced may hurt your cat belly due to large hand force and the kittens may die inside resulting in miscarriage.
Behavioural Changes During Cat Pregnancy
Just like every other creature being pregnant, your cat also starts craving certain foods and its appetite increases approximately 1.5 times more than normal conditions. She wants to eat every time in more quantity so you must take care of her diet.
Due to fluctuations in the hormones and uterus of the cat, she may feel lazy and fatigue all the day long. Her activity level reduces and time for sleep increases.
When a female human is pregnant, she wants all the attention around her and acts to have it in any way. The same is the case for cats, they want to be the center of your attention during their pregnancy. She wants to be played less often but cuddles all the time.
Diet for a Pregnant Cat
A proper diet plan for a cat pregnancy is as important as for human beings. The appetite of your cat increases naturally during pregnancy but you should make sure if your cat is in taking a proper healthy diet that may prove beneficial for the queen as well as for the upcoming kittens but before giving any food or supplement to the pregnant cat, consult with the vet in the first place.
You should feed your pregnant cat with:
- Kitten food
- Vitamins Supplements
- Food rich in proteins
Complications Your Cat May Face in Pregnancy
There are some complications that your cat can experience during pregnancy but it is not necessary for every cat to have these complications.
Morning sickness during pregnancy is common in the human species too. Your cat may feel sick after awakening from sleep. It can due to several reasons like lack of proper sleep or decreased appetite in some cases.
Nausea and vomiting is the most common part of pregnancy and your cat can be subjected to it. Vomiting is normal in cat pregnancy but if your cat is vomiting frequently than usual, you should get your cat checked by the vet.
Attack of Viruses
Your cats, even the unborn kittens inside the cat womb are susceptible to get attacked by viruses so it is extremely important to vaccinate your cat timely without any negligence that may consequently result in further complications.
Getting attacked by fleas is a normal and common condition for pets so as for your cat but in the case of cat pregnancy, you should check properly from time to time to make sure your cat is not a host of fleas and lice in her gestation condition. Having fleas will not only make your cat irritated but it can also cause some skin issues like allergies that will not be good for the pregnant cat.
Check out this article on the treatment of Cat Fleas for more detailed information
Signs of Labor and Delivery
How can you know when your cat is going to deliver the kittens and what necessary arrangement you have to make? Well, there are some signs that your cat gives is she is going to have labor pain and ready to deliver the kittens.
- The cat will stop eating anything a day before delivery
- She will get more vocal
- The cat will start washing, especially, her nipples and vagina constantly
- Her body temperature will fall below 37.7 Degree Celsius
Preparing The Nesting Area
You should prepare the delivery area for your cat as soon as she starts giving signals of labour. A box of suitable size containing necessary bed sheets and covers is a good option for the cat giving birth to the kittens. You can prepare something else for it but make sure the area for delivery is warm and comfortable enough for the cat. Your cat can deliver the kitten anywhere else she wants but preparing a proper place is necessary.
If you are the owner of a cat then cat pregnancy is an important topic. Your cat will get pregnant if not now but later on some time so you should know about all the basics regarding cat pregnancy. Keeping a sound knowledge about the time period of the cat pregnancy, her oestrus period and understanding the signs, diet, complications, behavioural changes etc. of your cat pregnancy helps you a lot during this crucial period and avoiding any mistakes. Everything should be done with the consultation of the Vet.